These days, everyone is on the video marketing train. But even as consumer preferences continue to shift in that direction and online video consumption increases exponentially year over year, there’s still one thing people are short on.
We’re not just talking about how long people can focus on one thing at a given time. A lot of marketers like to blame poor video marketing performance on the so-called “shrinking attention span” of the average consumer, but there’s more to it than that.
The truth is, there is a LOT of video content out there, all vying for people’s precious—and often limited—time.
Video marketing is rapidly approaching market saturation. According to Wyzowl, 87% of businesses are now using video as part of their marketing arsenal—that’s up 24% since 2017. And that percentage will only increase as more brands make the jump.
This isn’t to say, of course, that it’s not worth incorporating video into your marketing strategy. Quite the contrary—failing to do so could be detrimental to your brand.
But let’s be real here. Marketers need to start thinking more strategically about their approach, especially in terms of how long their videos should be.
Short-form video is the new norm. Not only does it fit more easily into the average consumer’s schedule, but it allows businesses to be more agile when it comes to producing it.
With that in mind, let’s explore why short-form video works so well for brands.
According to estimates, nearly half of all people watch an hour or more of online video per day. That means that as marketers, we’re all grasping for a portion of those 60 minutes.
Again, there is a LOT of content out there. If something doesn’t interest a viewer, they can easily scroll onto the next article or video. When you consider that fact, it comes as no surprise that short-form video content that really packs a punch is the solution.
Of course, long-form video has its place. It’s great for educating people on complex topics or drawing a big picture that a few minutes of footage can’t do justice.
But when it comes to marketing a product or service, most people are looking for very specific information—and they want it quickly. If you only produce long, in-depth videos about the technical inner workings of your product and make top-of-the-funnel prospects sit through a lot of jargon just to figure out what that product even does, you’re much less likely to keep their attention than you could with, say, a 90-second explainer video.
Long videos don’t just require more of a consumer’s time—they require more resources for brands to create in the first place. When you consider all of the work that goes into any kind of video, multiplying those efforts by a long run time can make it hard to produce and distribute content at a pace that will keep people interested.
Short-form video content lends to a more aggressive content strategy, meaning greater saturation of branded content. Since they take much less time to create, you can cover a wider range of topics faster. And with more of your branded videos available, there’s a better chance one of them will make its way onto the right person’s screen.
To be clear, this isn’t a case of quantity over quality. Video content is richer and more concentrated than other types of content, meaning you can still put a ton of value into a relatively short clip. You should never sacrifice quality just to post videos at a breakneck pace!
After Google and YouTube, social networks like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter are among the most highly-trafficked sites in the United States. This is no surprise, of course, but it is something to keep in mind as you plan how you’re going to distribute the videos you produce.
The common feature of social networks is that they’re designed for micro-blogging, which is what you get when you cross long-form blogging with instant messaging. With micro-blogging, the focus is on short-form content that can be shared quickly and easily, so social media tends to be where people favor little nuggets of content in larger volumes.
Since your goal is to enhance brand experiences, you need your branded content to be optimized for the mode of delivery. Short-form video is thus a perfectly natural fit for these social channels where short, easily-digestible content has the most reach.
By nature, long-form video lends itself best to evergreen content, meaning the content in the video maintains relevance with the passage of time. This is why you tend to see long in-depth guides and product demos.
On the other hand, since short-form videos can take less time to produce (depending on the type of video, of course), you have a little more flexibility and agility to cover more timely topics relevant to your industry and customers.
Many brands have found success in leveraging trends and current events in their branded content. Think about the ads you’ve seen that reference popular memes, or when celebrities appear in a brand’s marketing materials leading up to a big film release. When those celebrities are having a “moment,” brands jump on the opportunity to have them appear in their commercials, which usually nets them additional exposure.
Short-form content is great for tapping into what’s going on in society right now. It connects your branded content with something that’s more universally familiar, and is likely to put your short-form videos in front of more eyes.
It’s not just the popularity of video that makes it great for creating brand experiences. As a medium, it’s inherently more immersive; the act of watching a video is, in and of itself, an experience. When you leverage things like timeliness and an understanding of audience behavior, it lets you create something that’s truly relevant for your customers.
In other words, it lets you scratch an itch by giving them something they’d actually like to see.
After all, brand experiences aren’t just about marketing or advertising. They’re about finding ways to establish deeper connections with your audience. They’re about tapping into something deeper and emotional, empowering you to make a lasting impression.